How to care for a Guinea pig at home: rules and tips for beginners

Communicative, friendly and funny animal will make an excellent pet for children and adults alike.You cannot just take the pet in his arms and stroking. Or allow him to walk freely around the apartment, after the frightened rodent exactly try to hide in a secluded place, where it will be hard to get. The animal must first get used to the new dwelling and the smell of the owner;

  • you can feed the animals special food, not food from the table. Especially attentively it is necessary to study the list of forbidden food for these rodents;
  • if you have a cat or dog, the owner must ensure that the animal cage is tightly closed, otherwise the pig may become a victim or a furry four-leg predator;
  • blowing pet for a walk around the house or taking it with you on the sofa, you need to look after him, so that he was not chewing on wires, furniture or Wallpaper;
  • Guinea pigs are not aggressive and friendly, so furry animal will become a wonderful pet for a child. But to entrust the care of the rodent follows the children, aged 8-10 years, as animals need to be treated carefully and gently.
  • Important: pigs need care and attention and is in communion with him. Therefore, if the owner is not willing to devote time and attention to the animal, from its acquisition should be abandoned.

    Getting ready for the Guinea pigs

    The new pet should be to prepare in advance and create a rodent living conditions. The owner must ensure that the animal was a spacious home, equipped with all necessary accessories.

    Before you buy a Guinea pig it is desirable to examine several sources of information on care and food for a rodent

    Where to start? First of all you should choose a suitable area in which to stay the cage of a Guinea pig. It is worth considering that the animals can not tolerate heat, so their homes cannot be placed in the vicinity of batteries or in the place where exposed to direct sunlight. Drafts are harmful furry pet, whereby to position the cell under the window is not recommended.

    The most comfortable temperature of the contents of these rodents – 18-20 degrees.

    The list of items to prepare for arrival in the house Guinea pigs:

    • convenient and comfortable cage;
    • the attributes for the feeding of the pet (feeding, drinking, Siennica);
    • house-shelter;
    • forage and hay;
    • a filler for cells;
    • stone for grinding teeth;
    • toys;
    • comb (if the pig is long-haired breed);
    • pet carrier (for vet or travel).

    Important: when you select cells and required and optional accessories, the owner must to pay attention to their safety. Sharp edges, small holes, coating parts of the housing or articles varnish and paint is invalid, as it can cause injury to the pet or to provoke him food poisoning.

    The choice of housing for Guinea pigs

    When the content in the home, little pet most of the time spends in your home, so it must be convenient, comfortable and safe.

    Housing options for Guinea pigs:

    • cage;
    • the terrarium;
    • enclosure;
    • plastic container (dune).

    Each of these options has benefits and disadvantages. And before stopping your choice on one of them, the future owner should consider all the nuances.

    Cage for Guinea pigs

    Experienced owners furry rodents believe that it is most convenient to keep these rodents in a cage.

    The basic requirements for the cell:

    • it should be spacious. The optimal size of cage: length – 90 inches, width – 60 cm height – 40 cm;
    • choose a cage preferably with a plastic tray, and not with slatted bottom, which can be stuck to the foot of the animal;
    • the rods of the housing should be metal, not wood or plastic. Because mumps is still a rodent to gnaw through wood or plastic to get out of the cage for her will not be difficult;
    • multi-level cages for Guinea pigs are not suitable. These rodents are not adapted to climb the highest shelf and can not jump. Even if the animal climbed onto a shelf, then come down himself, he can not. A fall from a great height would cause life-threatening injuries and fractures, until the death of the animal;
    • cell sizes 90х60х40 suitable for one Guinea pig. When sharing the contents of two or more Pets, the dimensions of the housing must be at least 120х80х40.
    Cage has one drawback — it rolls in garbage

    The cage can be called almost ideal habitat for these rodents. It good air ventilation. Pig will not be able to escape the cage and free to roam the apartment. This housing is only one drawback: the remnants of feed, hay, animal faeces and pellets litter falls through the bars, so the floor near the cage will have to sweep every day.

    Cage for Guinea pigs

    Spacious glass terrarium may be suitable as a home for a furry pet, if the side walls are metal mesh and not glass. A terrarium is good because it is easy to clean and the floor around it will not be littered with sawdust or husk from the feed.

    A terrarium can be not only house pigs, but also a beautiful room decor

    But all glass terrariums or aquariums are not the most suitable housing for the Guinea pigs, as they have insufficient circulation of oxygen, and litter is always damp due to poor ventilation.

    Cages and dunes for small animals

    Some owners contain their Pets in the open spacious enclosures, equipped in the room. In this house the pig will be comfortable, but it is necessary to ensure that the height of the walls was not less than 40 centimeters. Otherwise, the animal easily move through them and just take a walk around the apartment. Also this house is not suitable for fluffy animals, if there is a dog or a cat.

    In the cage the Guinea pig enough space for your active life

    Dune is a design of a transparent plastic container with hinged lattice lid. But experts do not recommend to use them for Guinea pigs. The dunes are small and cramped, the air supply is limited, and rodents in dwellings do not feel comfortable.

    Advantage dunes compared to the cage — no garbage around

    Equipping the home the Guinea pig: a list of required and optional accessories

    On the shelves of pet stores posted a variety of goods and accessories for Guinea pigs. And a novice owner it can be difficult to navigate with such an abundance of items and decide what would be appropriate in a cage pet. Therefore, it is useful information, what accessories are necessary for the maintenance of these rodents, and without any of the things you can do.

    Guinea pigs just love the different chairs

    For the maintenance of the rodent will need to purchase:

    1. Feeder. They are floor and pendant and it is better to stop the choice on the second option. In standing on the floor of the trough are animal dung and grain filling, which contaminate food.
    2. Siennica. Hay is the staple food of furry animals and it is advisable to put in a special Siennica, and not to drop to the bottom of the cage.
    3. Drinker. As in the case of a feeder, a drinker it is recommended to choose the pendant, not the usual bowl of water.
    4. House. Pig needs a refuge where she can hide from prying eyes and Intrusive attention.

    Optional accessories cage:

    • toys (wooden blocks, or paper balls);
    • the tunnels of the shelter;
    • hammock;
    • soft bed;
    • mineral and salt stone for grinding teeth.

    Important: items such as a running wheel or a ball is contraindicated for Guinea pigs. Animals are not designed to move, and can damage the spine or fracture of the legs.

    A hammock for Guinea pigs can be easily done by hand

    What and how to feed a Guinea pig

    Care and maintenance at home furry rodent is not limited to the design of the cells and the choice of accessories.

    A very important point is the selection of proper diet for the animal. Unfortunately, inexperienced owners don't pay enough attention to feeding the animal, believing that for them, any food suitable for rodents.

    But the staple food of the herbivorous Guinea pigs is hay and plants, not corn. In their daily menu also must be raw vegetables. So food for rats or hamsters pigs is not suitable, moreover, can harm their health.

    Hay, fresh vegetables and herbs ought every day to be present in the diet of the pet

    The diet of rodents should include:

    • quality dry hay;
    • fresh field grass and the green leaves of garden and meadow plants. Pigs can be dandelion, clover, nettle, alfalfa, burdock, lettuce, chamomile, dill;
    • fresh vegetables (pumpkin, zucchini, carrot, cucumber, beetroot, tomato, celery, cabbage);
    • the branches of trees and shrubs. For example, raspberry, blueberry, Apple, willow, pear, ash, maple;
    • fresh berries and fruit (Apple, banana, pear, cherry, strawberry).

    As for dry food, you need it to pigs or not, the experts have not come to a consensus. Some owners feed their Pets exclusively with hay, herbs and vegetables. Other hosts pigs are sure that the grain of barley, oats and wheat are useful animals, so include a tablespoon of dry grain feed in the daily diet pet.

    Important: if the owner is inclined to give your pet a dry food, it should take into account that this food quite high in calories and not suitable for animals that lead a sedentary lifestyle.

    Treats for Pets

    Fresh and dried fruits, berries, nuts are not banned products for small Pets, but they are giving an animal as a delicacy, two to three times a week. Animal you can treat with raisins, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts or a small slice of dried apricot.

    That is so funny, and most importantly healthy treats you can make for Guinea pigs

    Woody branches fed the rodents no more than three or four times a week. In this case, the owner should know that the branches of the oak and coniferous trees pigs contraindicated.

    The list of prohibited products:

    • pasta;
    • dairy products;
    • meat, sausage, fish;
    • potatoes;
    • sweets;
    • bread;
    • peas, beans, beans;
    • mushrooms;
    • onions and garlic;
    • eggs.

    Rules of feeding Guinea pigs:

    • to leave your pet without food, not even for one day. If the animal will starve for 18-20 hours, his digestive system is starting to happen, irreversible changes, which often leads to death of the animal;
    • fresh hay should always be in the cage of the rodent;
    • pieces of vegetables and fruits feeding Pets no more than twice a day;
    • the diet of the animals needs to be varied, therefore, the types of vegetables for daily feeding should be alternated;
    • in winter, when no fresh herbs, homemade Guinea pig give sprouted grain cereals;
    • Pets are not to overfeed. Daily dose of food for Guinea pigs should not exceed 20-30 % of its own body weight. If the daily rate of the food animal exceeds the permissible dose, it threatens the development of his obesity;
    • to enter the menu favorites, new products should gradually watching his condition after feeding. If you change the consistency of feces, rashes on the skin or dullness pigs, the product is excluded from his diet;
    • pigs are drinking enough water, but the troughs should always be clean boiled water.

    Important: all products for animal feed must be fresh and of high quality. Rotten hay, grass, collected near highways and rotten vegetables and fruits to give the Pets impossible.

    Berries and fruits should be strictly dosed

    Tips for caring for Guinea pigs

    Small rodents are very clean and constantly cleaned his coat, especially after a meal. But, the fact that a Guinea pig should be able to take care of the cleanliness of their fur does not mean that there is no need to care. Caring for Guinea pigs includes not only hygienic procedure, but also the regular cleaning of their home.

    How to care for a Guinea pig at home:

    • Pets with long hair (breed Alpaca, sheltie or argorok) need regular brushingto keep their coat does not tangled and fell down in tangles. Short-haired rodents combing is optional, but this massage like pigs, so you can periodically treat them with a pleasant experience;
    • despite their name, these animals do not like to swim and are reluctant to perceive a bath. And bathing Pets frequently is not recommended, and doing it only when absolutely necessary;
    • bathe the animal in warm water, applying the shampoo and making sure that no water got into ears and eyes. Upon completion of the water treatment of the animal wrapped in a thick towel and hold until its coat is dry. After bathing the pig it is desirable to brush;
    • in the ears of animals accumulates sulfur and dirt and if not cleaned, the animal may even become deaf. To avoid this, the inner surface of the ears of your pet regularly inspect and clean with a soft cloth.

    All hygienic procedures are stressful for the animal. So while bathing or ear cleaning pet hold tight but gently so he wouldn't escape and get hurt.

    Tips for caring for cage and accessories

    • easy cleaning of the cage carried out once every three or four days, and the General – once a month;
    • before proceeding to the washing of the cage, fluffy the tenant is deposited in a box or a bowl;
    • before cleaning the housing, remove all items (feeder, a drinking bottle, house, toys);
    • poured from the tray with the dirty litter. Then the pallet is washed with clean water and wipe off;
    • plastic or glass utensils are also washed in clean warm water and leave to dry;
    • house washing is not necessarily enough to wipe with a damp cloth;
    • the bars also wipe with a damp cloth;
    • upon completion of cleaning return the pallet into place, poured a layer of pure filler, set on the ground feeder, sennitsy drinker and the house.

    During the monthly General cleaning except washing the cage and accessories, all items are disinfected, using for this purpose the baking soda or vinegar. The use of chemical disinfectants is impossible.

    Games, training and taming pet

    Do not believe the widespread opinion that Guinea pigs are boring and lazy, which only those involved that eat and sleep. In fact it is active, playful and sociable Pets who will gladly spend time playing with the owner.

    Furry animals are pretty smart and clever, so easily tamed and can be taught to perform simple tricks.

    The domestication of animal

    To the little pet used to the owner and began to trust him, you should devote a lot of time to communicate with Pets.

    In the early days, coming to the cage, the owner should quietly and gently talk to rodent, until he begins to recognize the voice of the owner.

    If you just bought a pig, it is not worth a few days to take her in his arms, she needed to get used to the new place

    The next stage is feeding the animal a treat from the hand. When the pig is suitable for a treat, you should stand still, not try to grab her hands and not to make any sudden movements. After a few days the rodents will run to the owner's hand, checking whether there is treats.

    When the animal get used to the voice and smell of the owner, you can try to gently pull her out of the cage and hold her in his arms. If the animal is frightened, ought to calm him down, stroking his back and speak to him gently.

    As soon as the animal to make sure that the owner of it doesn't threaten your pet will be happy to sit on his hands or knees.

    Games with a Guinea pig

    The easiest way to get the pig game is to hide bits of treats in different parts of the cell. Let the animal feel like a detective, looking for treats.

    You can offer an animal to play football, by placing in his home a ball from the rustling of paper. The pig will take a lot of pleasure to push the ball head, watching as he rolls around the cage.

    Another fun homemade toy can be an ordinary cardboard box cut a few holes on the size of the pet. The rodent will be delighted to Tinker inside the box, entering some doors and leaving others.

    So Guinea pigs do not get bored in your absence, you can buy her toys or make your own

    Training rodent

    Using as a reward treat, you can teach a Guinea pig to respond to his name, to beg for a favorite treat to make revolutions around its axis.

    To pet responded to his name, each time filling him food or a treat lure should repeat his name. After a couple of days rodent, hearing her name, will run to the owner, begging for a treat.

    To teach the pig to turn you can also use treats. For this purpose, allow the animal to sniff the treat and slowly turn it around the pig. The rodent will begin to turn around the owner's hand. And when he will make a complete revolution, it's rewarded with treats.

    How to properly handle a Guinea pig

    These furry animals fragile and fearful. Guinea pigs like attention and care, but to handle a small pet carefully, gently and delicately:

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